Dec 31, 2012 10:00pm PST
with the senate's republican minority leader mitch mcconnell. and those contacts continued today. by early this afternoon amid reports of progress, president obama emerged in a campaign style setting. >> today it appears that an agreement to prevent this new year's tax hike is within sight. but it's to the done. there are still issues left to resolve. but we're hopeful that congress can get it done. but it's not done. >> it was widely reported that the deal would include making the bush era tax cuts permanent for families with incomes under $450,000 a year. for households making more than that amount, rates would rise from the current 35% to 39.6%. the agreement would also raise the estate tax. in addition, unemployment benefits would be extended for one year. otherwise some 2 million americans face the end of their benefits beginning in january. on the senate floor shortly before midafternoon, minority leader mcconnll confirmed that the stalemate on taxes appeared to be over. >> i can report that we've reached an agreement on all of the tax, the tax issues. we are very, very close.
Dec 27, 2012 3:00pm PST
well as senator reid and his opposite number, minority leader mitch mcconnell. but today, mcconnell gave no indication of movement. >> last night i told the president we'd be happy to look at whatever he proposes, but the truth is we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said this is a conversation we should have had months ago. and republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> reporter: adding to the urgency, treasury secretary timothy geithner warned he'll have to begin taking "extraordinary measures" to postpone a government default. the government is on track to hit its borrowing limit on monday, he said with no prospect of congressional action to raise the limit. here now to help us unravel what's going on is todd zwillich. he's washington correspondent for "the takeaway" on public radio international. todd, welcome back. decode this for us. are the players privately as bleak about the prospects as their public statement suggests? >> not as bleak, margaret, but
Dec 28, 2012 3:00pm PST
capital the senate's democratic majority leader harry reid and republican minority leader mitch mcconnell offered their takes on the meeting. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader, myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference. and so we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. and so i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect. some people aren't going to like it. some people will like it less. but that's where we are. and i feel confident that we have an obligation to do the best we can and that was made very clear. >> brown: house speaker john boehner aides said if the senate passes a bill the house will take it up and either accept or amend it and a short time ago president obama appeared in the white house briefing room with a statement. here is some of what he said. >> we had a constructive meeting today. senator
Dec 28, 2012 7:00pm EST
, positive, hopeful, optimistic. >> yes, constructive and positive. and with mitch mcconnell and according to the president, in his statement, mitchman connell, republican leader and harry reid, the majority leader. and have been so incredibly productive and coop rattive and collegial that it is probably-- they'll probably have it before ten minutes. i think there is a good chance. >> woodruff: we could start the champagne early. but the reality 500 million in tax cuts and spending cuts and tax increases on the negative side impact on this, in g-- i think they will. >> the action is all in the senate, is that shall did --. >> i don't know why that is that is what people have decide. one of the things that struck me and i think mark too about the president's press conference, if he saying oh these politicians in washington, they're squabbling. i should write a letter to the white house and find out who is in charge. it happens to be you, mr. president, you are sort of involved here. so to me if i have to talk about the flaws of each side, the president still is sort of oh, those p